May 3, 2007 Notes: Albany Molecular Research Rebrands, Crucell Extends License Agreement with Novartis, Hollis-Eden to Restructure, More

May 3, 2007
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Albany Molecular Research, BAC, Crucell, More

Company Notes

Albany, NY (May 1)-Albany Molecular Research, Inc. (www.albmolecular.com) rebranded itself AMRI, the name by which the company will now conduct its worldwide business. The rebranding includes a new corporate logo, which replaces a transitional logo adopted in 2006 that included both Albany Molecular Research, Inc. and AMRI.

Naarden, Netherlands (May 1)-BAC BV’s (www.bac.nl) “CaptureSelect” custom affinity ligands were selected by Sanofi Pasteur (Lyon, France, www.sanofipasteur.com) for vaccine purification. CaptureSelect ligands are manufactured using a high-yield, animal-free, yeast-based expression system. They offer high stability and specificity for the process-scale purification of some vaccine products.

Leiden, Netherlands (Apr. 27)-Crucell N.V. (www.crucell.com) extended its nonexclusive research license agreement with Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Inc. (Emeryville, CA, www.novartis.com). The agreement gives Novartis the right to use Crucell’s “PER.C6” cell technology to manufacture alphavirus vectors for its vaccine research programs.

Lenexa, KS (May 1)-CyDex, Inc. (www.cydexinc.com) licensed its “Captisol” technology to Proteolix, Inc. (South San Francisco, CA, www.proteolix.com) for use with PR-171, proteasome inhibitor that could treat certain cancers. Catisol improves water solubility, bioavailability, and complexation characteristics of insoluble or unstable drugs. The agreement gives Proeolix global rights to Captisol to formulate PR-171.

Midland, MI (May 1)-Dowpharma (www.dowpharma.com), a business unit of Dow Chemical Company (www.dow.com), licensed its “Pfenex” expression technology to VGX Pharmaceuticals (Blue Bell, PA, www.vgxp.com). VGX plans to use the technology to produce a proprietary therapeutic protein for cancer therapy. Pfenex produces large yields of soluble, correctly folded therapeutic proteins, thus avoiding the refold step and reducing the overall cost of goods. The proteins produced also are easy to handle and enable a clear path through the purification process.

San Diego, CA (Apr. 27)-Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (www.holliseden.com) plans to restructure and focus on developing adrenal steroid hormones to treat metabolic disorders, autoimmune and other inflammatory conditions, and hormone-sensitive cancers. As part of the restructuring, the company will reduce its workforce by 25%, thus bringing its expenditures down to $10–12 million by the second half of 2007.

New York (Apr. 27)JLL Partners (www.jllpartners.com) completed the purchase of $150 million of convertible preferred shares of Patheon Inc. (Toronto, ON, Canada, www.patheon.com). The purchase was approved by Patheon’s shareholders at their annual meeting on April 19. Patheon also refinanced its existing credit facilities in North America and the United Kingdom with new credit facilities of $225 million.

Bridgewater, NJ (Apr. 30)-Sanofi-Aventis (www.sanofi-aventis.com) received US Food and Drug Administration (Rockville, MD, www.fda.gov) approval for “Lantus SoloStar,” a prefilled disposable insulin pen. Lantus offers an alternative to traditional needle and syringe methods of insulin therapy and is the only disposable insulin pen that allows patients to administer doses from 1 to 80 units in one injection. It is expected to be available on the market in 2007.

People Notes

Albany, NY (Apr. 24)-Albany Molecular Research, Inc. (www.albmolecular.com) named Raymond Yeung general manager of its Singapore subsidiary. Yeung joins the company from MDS Pharma Services, where he was director for Asia-Pacific operations.

Florham Park, NJ (May 2)-Megan Turner has been appointed business development manager for ionic liquids with BASF (www.basf.com). Turner previously served as a research engineer at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and she was a biology automation technician at Selectide Corporation, a subsidiary of Sanofi-Aventis.

Orlando, FL and Irvine, CA (May 1)-Datamax Corporation (www.datamaxcorp.com) and O’Neil Product Development, Inc. (www.oneilprinters.com) appointed Michael A. Allocco vice-president of sales for the Americas. Allocco previously served as vice-president of sales and marketing for Sirit, Inc. and also held sales positions at Invensys, Alient Technologies Corporation, GSE Systems, Inc., and Leeds and Northrop Company.

Danbury, CT (May 2)-Penwest Pharmaceuticals Co. (www.penw.com) named Amale Hawi, PhD, senior vice-president of pharmaceutical development. In this capacity, Hawi will manage the pharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics groups and will be responsible for preclinical and CMC drug-development strategy. Hawi founded A. Hawi Consulting, Ltd. in 2002 and served as president of the company. She also held various positions at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals.

Boston, MA (May 1)-Solace Pharmaceuticals (www.solacepharma.com) named Eliot Forster chief executive officer. Forster joins the company after serving as Pfizer’s head of development for Europe and Asia.

Minneapolis, MN (May 1)-Richard A. Krzyzek, PhD, was promoted to vice-president of research for Techne Corporation’s (www.techne-corp.com) biotechnology division. Krzyzek joined R&D Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of Techne, in 1992. He also spent 12 years with Molecular Genetics, Inc.

East Norriton, PA (Apr. 30)-Tengion, Inc. (www.tengion.com) named Sharon Presnell vice-president for regenerative medicine and biology. Presnell previously was a scientific leader at Becton Dickinson's research facility in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

London, ON, Canada (May 1)-Viron Therapeutics Inc. (www.vironinc.com) appointed Claude R. Benedict, MD, senior vice-president, clinical development and regulatory affairs. Benedict previously served as senior vice-president and head of development at Archemix Corporation and as senior vice-president, global lead optimization, drug innovation, and approval for Aventis Pharmaceuticals.